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Press Release   |   Feb 14, 2018
MORPC Views Federal Infrastructure Proposal as Important Starting Point

MORPC Leaders Advocate for the Region in Washington

February 27, 2018
MORPC’s board and staff leadership recently traveled to Washington, D.C. to share MORPC’s regional priorities with the Central Ohio congressional delegation and attend the annual National Conference on Regions.

MORPC serves the fastest-growing region in Ohio, which is expected to increase by up to one million people by 2050. In order to prepare for such substantial growth and the future challenges that are a result of the increase in population, it is critical for MORPC to advocate for federal investment in Central Ohio.

MORPC leaders on Capitol Hill. Pictured (l-r): Executive Director William Murdock, Transportation Systems & Funding Director Thea Walsh, Public & Government Affairs Director Terri Flora, MORPC Board Vice Chair Rory McGuiness, and MORPC Board Chair Matt Greeson.

While in Washington, the Trump Administration unveiled its infrastructure proposal. MORPC board members and staff used this as an opportunity to express how federal investment, within the proposal, would advance Competitive Advantage Projects, rural projects within the Central Ohio Rural Planning Organization (RTPO) and the Hyperloop Midwest Connect Initiative.

“Federal funds are critical for the region to maintain the infrastructure we have and build more for our growing region. We need new resources to invest in innovative projects to give Central Ohio a competitive advantage in the years ahead.”
MORPC Executive Director William Murdock

As an agency serving local governments, MORPC leaders also voiced their concern with the reduced federal share in projects and the increase in the financial burden for states and localities in the proposal. The plan calls for $200 billion in federal spending, with the remaining $1.3 trillion to be generated by state and local governments, as well as private investors. Current highway funding programs usually require a local share of 20-40 percent; this proposal calls for the federal share to be 20 percent. While this is great leveraging for the federal government, it might provide hardships to communities that are already struggling to address their infrastructure needs. For more information on MORPC’s position on the federal infrastructure bill, please visit here.

When not advocating on Capitol Hill, MORPC’s leadership was pleased to attend the National Conference of Regions. The conference – hosted by the National Association of Regional Councils (NARC) — is an opportunity for attendees to collaborate on shared interests and determine key policy issues for the year ahead. It is geared toward councils of government and metropolitan planning organizations, including their leaders, board members and local elected officials.

MORPC Executive Director William Murdock moderated a congressional breakfast at the U.S. Capitol titled, “Thinking Big: Regional Solutions to National Challenges.”

Meanwhile, MORPC Director of Transportations Systems & Funding was a panelist at the Smart Regions Congress Leadership Forum, which took place at the National Press Club and was hosted by Venture Smarter.

Thea Walsh at Smart Regions Congress
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